|La Rochelle (looking toward the old harbor)|
One of the few negatives of being in France for the year is being away from family. Modern technology helps (facetime, email, Skype, Viber, etc.), but it is not quite the same as being there. In particular, we feel like we are missing some wonderful moments with our grandchildren. Fortunately, our two grandchildren have crazy parents who were willing to fly one-third of the way around the world with two young children to visit us. Actually, I am not exactly sure that they were coming to see us, but no matter, we got to spend time with the grandchildren.
Helen and her family spent a couple of days in Spain (getting over their jet lag) before driving up to La Rochelle (west coast of France), where we met them. La Rochelle is a charming town and despite scattered rain showers, we enjoyed walking around the town with family. William (3 years old in May) seems to have grown up substantially since we last saw him and Ruth (8 months) is developing a wonderful happy personality.
After a day in La Rochelle, we drove back to Angers and had four wonderful days of family time. Helen and Thompson didn't get to do much sightseeing, but they definitely got a flavor of every day life in Angers by walking Joanie to and from school, visiting the boulangerie, and visiting all of the little markets. Bronwyn and I got to spend a lot of time playing blocks and cars with William, and being entertained by Ruth. Having family visit really helps make Angers feel like home.